Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
"'REVENUE generating bills' — I have repeated this phrase about a thousand times since inauguration day in January 2008. I have asked repeatedly that each legislator should come up with a revenue generating bill that creates a new source of revenue, even if it is just a small amount. If we had done our job we would not have the present budget short fall.”
Issue 1: Energy and natural resourcesIt takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.ENERGY TO PRODUCE BAG ORIGINALLY (BTUs)Safeway Plastic Bags: 594 BTUsSafeway Paper Bags: 2511 BTUs(Source: 1989 Plastic Recycling Directory, Society of Plastics Industry.)Of course, most paper comes from tree pulp, so the impact of paper bag production on forests is enormous. In 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans that year alone. Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy forests (major absorbers of greenhouse gases) have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases.Issue 2: PollutionThe majority of kraft paper is made by heating wood chips under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution. As evidenced by the unmistakable stench commonly associated with paper mills, the use of these toxic chemicals contributes to both air pollution, such as acid rain, and water pollution. Millions of gallons of these chemicals pour into our waterways each year; the toxicity of the chemicals is long-term and settles into the sediments, working its way through the food chain. Further toxicity is generated as both plastic and paper bags degrade.POLLUTANTS PAPER V.S. PLASTICPaper sacks generate 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.Source: "Comparison of the Effects on the Environment of Polyethylene and Paper Carrier Bags," Federal Office of the Environment, August 1988Issue 3: RecyclingIt takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. But recycling rates of either type of disposable bag are extremely low, with only 10 to 15% of paper bags and 1 to 3% of plastic bags being recycled, according to the Wall Street Journal.ENERGY TO RECYCLE PACKAGE ONCE (BTUs)Safeway Plastic Bags: 17 BTUsSafeway Paper Bags: 1444 BTUsSource: 1989 Plastic Recycling Directory, Society of Plastics Industry.Although paper bags have a higher recycling rate than plastic, each new paper grocery bag you use is made from mostly virgin pulp for better strength and elasticity.Issue 4: DegradabilityCurrent research demonstrates that paper in today's landfills does not degrade or break down at a substantially faster rate than plastic does. In fact, nothing completely degrades in modern landfills because of the lack of water, light, oxygen and other important elements that are necessary for the degradation process to be completed. A paper bags takes up more space than a plastic bag in a landfill, but because paper is recycled at a higher rate, saving space in landfills is less of an issue.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
- Double Sided Juan Pan Tuba Open Faced Sandwich stuffed with Camacho Kelaguin
- Nekkai Belt Busting Pork Fat Fry w a side of Young Spring Galvanized Onions (will make you tear up)
- De-Shelled and De-Spined Crab w/ Heinz Dressing stuffed in an Arnold Crepe
- Lights Out Kumoi Anago with Froilan Fungus wrapped in Pork Belly and Charred
- Diego Dumplings floating listlessly in your choice of Reyes Consommé or Soup D'Jour
- Fritada ala Fitial aged 4 years in airtight climate controlled closet stirred gently every 6 months by Chef Chucky
Monday, November 17, 2008
Most recently the entire Immigration staff and their valiant leader Grey headed up to the Legislature to voice their concerns. They met with members of the House and asked the Representatives, "What are they going to do about the situation they are in?" They stated that no one from the legislature went to their offices to assist them.
In true form, a few of the legislators had already drafted out a Bill mandating a lateral transfer of all 68 immigration personnel.
Is it just me or does this just scream - STUPIDITY!
Our government is currently struggling with depleted revenues. We are in a state where we need to be downsizing government. The federalization of immigration can be looked at as a step in that direction. No longer will local funds be required to run this section. What our legislature could not do (downsize) has been done for us. And rather than looking at this as a positive step the same legislature is now going to turn around and force the Government to hire all 68 individuals and maintain our current spending level. Why?
Simple. They want their votes. At what cost? At what point will our public servants come to grips with the stark reality of our times. We are broke. We need to quit with our old ways and begin to trim down the size of government. We need to make some tough calls and downsize. No one likes this fact. It is a tough pill to swallow but it must be done and be done quickly.
The Washington Reps office was affected by the federalization of immigration. The staff from Pete's office will be out of a job earlier than expected. Should our government also guarantee a lateral transfer of all of his staffers? When a department head decides to cut costs and layoff employees, should the affect employees also be afforded this luxury?
And while we are handing out government jobs, why relegate this mentality to the public sector? Blockbuster just closed with little to no warning given to their staff. Should we offer gov't jobs to all of their displaced workers? Carmen Safeway just closed up shop, what about giving all of their workers jobs in the government?
What on earth are our legislators doing? This is not a time to play Santa Claus and drum up votes by dishing out jobs for which taxpayers must ante up the cash to pay for. Times are tough everywhere. No one is ENTITILED to a job. When businesses close workers have to go about finding a new place of employment. The same should apply for Government Jobs. Pete's staffers and the immigration workers need to begin scouting for jobs. Sign up for welfare in the midterm and unemployment benefits if need be. But get out there and find a job with the rest of us that are out here working our hind parts off to bring home the bacon.
What is even more disturbing is that the immigration jobs are not gone. The Federal government is in the midst of hiring individuals to fill the same slots (only difference is that they will be funded by the federal government not the CNMI government) unlike the private sector jobs that have completely vanished upon the business closures. I hope that some of the individuals displaced from the private sector along with the immigration workers are making every attempt possible to qualify for the federal immigration positions.
I could go on and on about this but let me instead sum it up in very simple terms for our elected representatives:
The time has come for you to grow a spine, to look at the state of the commonwealth and do what is right for all of the people of the CNMI. To pass a budget that is fiscally sound and deals with the realities of our trying times. Do we have to cut government jobs? YES. Do it. You may believe that by passing that law for the lateral transfer that you garnered yourselves the 68 votes along with their family members. I hope you realize what it truly cost you in terms of votes. You have lost mine and at least 10000 other voters that see right through your cowardly act. You may want to pass a new bill that guarantees a transfer for all of you legislators that voted yes to this bill because come 2009 you will also be out of a job.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Some have said it is due to the fact that we paid far below what we should have been paying for all those years we were charged 11 cents/KWH.
I do believe that the rate was far to low to have full cost recovery, however I do not believe that is the reason we are in the dark now.
We are sitting in the dark because the generators are broken. They are inoperable. While some may argue that they are in that state due to the lack of proper rate setting in the past, I don't buy it.
Mismanagement and Corruption are the root of our problems.
In the last 24 months CUC has spent at a minimum $16 Million dollars in REPAIR and PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE either fully or partially federally funded. They have also transferred $4.7 Million from CDA, took $5 million from the Gen Fund, Took $5 Million from Ret Fund contributions and raised fees and this does not include any fully locally funded repair and maintenance contracts. And this is nothing new. CUC spends millions every year on Repair and Maintenance. Why then are the generators all broken down? If we have been paying these large sums of money to CISCO, DCM, MAN B&W, SNM, TANO GROUP, MITSUBISHI, WAUKESHA ELECTRICAL, PACIFIC DRILLING, HAWTHORNE PACIFIC and many others why are all but 2 of the generators run by CUC broken and out of commission?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Here is a listing of only the SOLE SOURCED FEDERALLY FUNDED contracts from 2008: Waukesha Electrical$180,159.18 for corrective maintenance;
Waukesha Electrical-$64,580.37 for Kiya Sub corrective maintenance;
Waukesha Electrical-$124,221.79 for repair of T-1 transformer at Chalan Kiya;
Pacific Drilling Ltd.-$117,745 for emergency repair and construction of Chalan Kiya 8-inch asbestos broken sewerline;
Mitsubishi Corp. -$475,908 for preventive maintenance;
Mitsubishi Corp.-$74,737.20 for power generation;
Mitsubishi Corp.-$74,737.20 for 12,000 running hours preventive maintenance;
Mitsubishi Corp.- $117,040 for preventive maintenance;
Man B&W Singapore-$455,904 for installation of new crankshaft;
Man B&W Singapore-$281,362 for preventive maintenance;
Man B&W Singapore-$831,959 for preventive maintenance service;
Man B&W-$582,963 for preventive maintenance service;
CISCO-$115,000 for assessment & repair of generator stater for power plant 1 generator;
SNM Corp. — no amount indicated, hired to overhaul three existing generators;
Hawthorne Pacific-$87,713.21 for top end overhaul of caterpillar generator;
Tano Group Inc. — no amount indicated;
Tano Group Inc.- $287,000 for removal of used oil in tank 104;
Tano Group Inc.-$65,500 for shipment of 1.5MW generator for Rota;
CBM Tech-$826,980 for supply of radiators;
Sai Traders-$404,900 for supply and installation of lube oil separator;
If all this money was truly spent on Preventive Maintenance and Repair and all but 2 of our generators are broken then perhaps we didn’t get what we paid for. Did this money go to repairs? Did it go to preventive maintenance? Or were these sole sourced and manipulated bid contracts signed and executed merely to funnel monies into corrupt pockets?
It happened with Tim and Rydlyme (which for some reason doesn’t show up on any of the reports I have seen… not exactly full disclosure). It is not far fetched to reach the conclusion that some BIG TIME corruption is occurring at CUC. Either that or big time mismanagement (which I find hard to believe).
We are in this mess because these repairs and maintenance did not occur or if they did were not done right.
I hope the legislature does its job and conducts a full oversight of CUC and looks into all of their contracts. There is no reason we should be in the situation we are in. The money was there for repair and maintenance. The money has been spent year after year. Who’s pockets?
Friday, August 22, 2008
Have you finally reached that point?
As a reader of this blog you are well aware of my distain towards the corruption that has been allowed fester in the CNMI. I had said time and time again that, "it can't get any worse". Time and time again I have been proven wrong. It can get worse, has gotten worse and will still yet continue to worsen if something drastic doesn’t occur to put an end to it.
Over the last few years our administration and our legislature have done nothing to correct these problems. In fact, they have actually done a multitude of things to worsen our current situation.
People have started to voice their concerns. In the papers, on the internet, across the picnic tables, in homes and even now within the House of Representatives. All these voices have fallen on deaf and dumb ears.
Change cannot take place with these voices alone. Action is required. People are being hurt physically, emotionally and mentally by the actions of our government. Poverty is at an all time high. Basic social services are failing us. Money is being taken from us.
We are being robbed not at gun point by a masked stranger but out in the open by our Administration and our Legislature who use the guise of normal government operations as justification.
How are they robbing us?
They take your hard earned tax dollars, your fund contributions, your public land monies, your federal funds, the government fees collected and do the following:
- They employ unqualified relatives either directly or through connections with constituents (i.e. Mayor's Office, Glenda Reyes, etc.)
- They sign sole sourced contracts and transfer monies to companies without ever holding them accountable for receivables. Funneling millions of our dollars into businesses that have no intent on producing what is required in an effort to obtain kickbacks and political favors. (i.e. DCM, CISCO, etc)
- The Representatives steal $3 million per year and use it any way they please without any accountability. (i.e. discretionary funds to buy tables, tents, car leases, cell phones, anything they wish to use it for --- that money was ours)
- The Committees steal millions of dollars a year for committee operations yet they hardly ever meet. They use the money for travel, ghost employees, personal equipment, etc. (none of which is ever accounted for)
- The Senate steals Millions a year in subsistence allowances
- They pillage your retirement fund and public land fund.
- The Legislature passes laws to funnel our money to pet projects with no plan or accountability in exchange for political favors and kick backs.
- The administration steals millions and funnels it to cronies he keeps on staff as consultants. No receivables ever required or produced. (i.e. Willens, Jesus Camacho, etc)
I can go on and on but I think the point is not the actual instances anymore but more so the fact that we all know this is happening. That we all hear about these blatantly corrupt practices. That we all read about it in the news. That we all are fully aware it is taking place.
We have tried to reason with them. To hold forums and speak with one voice to our government servants. To write letters to the editor to voice our concerns. We have met personally with our legislators and the Governor. All in vain. They do not want to hear us. They will not change based on vocal requests. They have been so blatant as to say directly that they are the leaders and that what the public wants is of no concern to them. That they were voted into office to make the decisions and that our concerns are of no concern to them.
What are we going to do about it?
If it was a robbery in the middle of the night and you were stirred, what would you do? What if your family's safety was in jeopardy?
Some would rise and do what it takes to chase off the robber.
Some would strike him and take down.
It is time to rid our home of these robbers.
Why haven’t we?
You may personally know them. You may be related to them. You may have voted for them. You may work for them. You may feel there is no one better. You may feel that only time will rid us of them.
Stop! Stop making excuses for your complacency. Stop justifying their corruption. Stop allowing them to pillage your home and lay waste to your children’s futures. Stop the fear.
The time has come for us to stand up to it. To chase the robbers out of town. To strike if that becomes necessary.
Look at your life. Look at the lives of your family. Look at your young ones, your old one. What have their lives become? What has yours become?
It should not be this way. We don't have to accept it.
Do you feel we need:
- A smaller government
- An end to the rampant corruption
- Qualified department heads and staff
- A solid and set plan for the future of the CNMI
If so, then you are not alone. Over the past months I have amassed a fairly large group of like minded individuals. In order to effectuate change we need more. We need you. Not your silent support. We need your presence.
If you are ready to come to aid of your brothers and sisters --- If you are ready to rid these islands of these pitiful government looters --- If you are willing to break this cycle of abuse --- If you are ready and willing to become part of CNMI History --- Then email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
What will we do?
- We will converse
- We will exchange ideas
- We will plan
- We will act
- We will all bring about change
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
It appears the weekend and Monday are just about gone and the long awaited YOUTUBE thriller "Fitial Strikes Back" is nowhere to be found :-(
I hope it wasn't the edited clippings that I posted that have halted its release.
Nah... I'm sure that was the crap stuff anyhow. Must have been the power outages. Probably zapped Director Charles' Media System and laid waste to his rendering farm (yep... I heard he was gonna do some awesome CG stuff).
Thursday, August 14, 2008
It is important to note that the bill was handed to the members just hours before the session (a session that was called just a day prior).
Nearly $5 million was appropriated for the following pet projects:
- $3 million for the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance;
- $100,000 for the SHEFA operations;
- $45,000 for the 2009 Liberation Day activities;
- $50,000 for the CNMI Little League;
- $25,000 for the Fishing Derby;
- $20,000 for the Agricultural Fair;
- $15,000 for the Flame Tree Arts Festival;
- $75,000 for the Saipan Zoning;
- $30,000 for the A&E design and construction of the Anthony T. Benavente Baseball Field on Navy Hill;
- $111,400 for road improvement and paving of Gloria Drive on Navy Hill;
- $200,000 for road paving and drainage improvement of Egigi Road, Piligro Lane, Sea Coast Lane, Rota Place, and Orhopay Place;
- $100,000 for the construction of a pavilion, procurement of children's playground equipment, and improvement of the public facilities at the Capitol Hill Children's Park to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- $200,000 for road paving of Gangoche Road to Pika Road in Precinct I;
- $200,000 for road paving and drainage improvements and renovations of public facilities in Precinct II;
- $10,000 for the improvement of public facilities at Pakpak Beach Park;
- $21,000 for repairs and maintenance of Dandan Elementary School; and
- $100,000 for the Northern Marianas Trades Institute
road pavings, baseball fields, fishing derby, lib day festival, playgrounds, etc...
How in good conscience could anyone pass this bill at this time?
If your father recently got fired and your mother's salary was cut in half would it be appropriate to ask them for a new swing set and cash for a rod and reel?
CUC is crumbling, Retirement fund is looted and about 700 million in the hole and growing, PSS is in need of funding, the list goes on and on.
$5 million to these projects is ludicrous.
Time to speak up.
Time to rise up.
-Duke Leto Atreides
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Take an objective look at what you have done/said over the past year and reevaluate what you can change to make yourself more desirable.
I can't post on Mr. Villagomez's blog due to my signature so I will respond to a comment he posted here:
"The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...
I'm been reading up on some of the things the Unity marchers have been doing since Friday:
- They are accusing Cinta Kaipat of sponsoring the Labor Bill so that she could get a job at Labor and take under the table bribes.
- They are attacking KSPN for not providing enough coverage.
- They are attacking Walt Goodridge and Christine Parke for not speaking publicly about the March (what do they have to do with the March?)
- They attacked anyone who estimated that that under 10,000 people participated, including the middle road bloggers and me.
The most telling thing from all this is something I read on Dengre's latest diary on Dailykos.
Here is the link, scroll to the bottom:
Here is the quote:
“We rode the stories of these workers to victory in 2006”
That tells me that this is about electing Mainland Democrats to office, not actually helping the situation.
That is really sad. I really supported Dengre when I first started reading his stuff, but it has become apparent that his agenda is getting rid of Republicans (not necessarily a bad thing), not helping the people of the Marianas."
No one is accusing your friend Cinta of anything. Many are trying their best to guess what reasons she may have had to push with all her might against so much opposition to get this labor law passed.
No one is attacking KSPN news. We are simply stating an obvious. They covered the march on Friday and said to tune in on Monday for more coverage. This didn't happen and no mention was given to any delays. Why does it upset you? If you were told to tune in to a show for coverage of an event and you did and nothing was covered wouldn't you also be peeved or at least curious as to why it wasn't covered? Watch the online version of Friday's news since you obviously didn't.
I did not "attack" Chris or Walt. I made a comment about how strange it would be to have a seminar for Guest Workers (that was what he wrote) that covers "Answering Tricky Interview Questions" when technically in 2 weeks they wont be able to apply for a job in the CNMI at all due to the no-transfers provision in our new Labor Law.
The amount of people at the march has been a topic of discussion since the march and it has been debated on the blogs and in person. If you feel attacked because your estimate is different than mine or his does it matter?
As far as the March's intent to be getting Mainland Republican's into office...
Pass the joint my way. Are you that upset that you were not a part of the march that you will now do everything in your power to try and denigrate it? If Republican’s get elected into office in the Mainland because of the March in the CNMI, I assure you it will be a by-product of the march not the intent.
As far as Dengre is concerned… What the hell does he have to do with the Unity March held on Friday?
It truly is time for you Angelo Villagomez to Reinvent yourself.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
How stupid does this sitting Governor think the public is. He is now saying that a compromise can be reached. The point isn't what types of gambling tables are available at the La Fiesta, heck at this point it really isn't even about gambling in general (haven't we been down this road before? Is that Bruce in the rear view mirror?).
This is about the principle of the matter. We are the public. We deserve more than this shit. We all went to the polls in November and decided that for one reason or another did not want to pass the gambling initiative that was put on the ballot. I don't know why the public said "no". Neither does anyone else.
Wake up you sleeping self made giants on the hill! Call a damn public hearing. Talk to the people that you are supposed to be REPRESENTING (hence the title REPRESENTATIVE).
Perhaps the public will embrace this new bill. Perhaps they will even ask for a wider range of gaming tables. Perhaps they will ask to just kill poker in general. Perhaps they will ask to move all the poker and any other gaming device under the sum up to the Fiesta.
The point is you don't f$#!@!@ know. Stop with the shit headed games. Stop treating the public like a bunch of idiots.
We are not as naive as you folks on the hill are.
[Reference is to this article: http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?newsID=75103&cat=1 ]
“EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ll be giving a workshop to one fragment of the population-Filipino contract workers (however, all are invited)-on Sunday, Dec. 16, 1pm at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe. The seminar will have four speakers who will discuss different topics: "How to win friends and be a likeable person" by Anthony Pellegrino, "How to overcome fear of public speaking” by Bob Coldeen, "How to answer tricky job interview questions" by Christine Parke and "How to manage your time and be productive" by Walt Goodridge. DJ Dr. Love will act as moderator of the four-hour learning session. $5. E-mail email@example.com to register or contact any CNMI-Power member.”
Am I the only one that is totally thrown a back by this?
Do he and Christine know something I don’t know? Why would you hold a seminar for a segment of the population that won’t even be allowed to answer a single interview question after January 1st?
Neither of them have said a peep publicly about the march.